The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence just launched a new website that profiles the members of the National Rifle Association Board of Directors. Scanning through the rogues gallery of far-right apparatchiks, it's no wonder why it's impossible to reason with these people and come up with sensible gun control laws -- laws, by the way, that a supermajority of Americans support, according to Gallup. That's 86 percent of Americans either want stricter gun laws, or gun control laws kept as they are today, which ostensibly includes the Brady law and so forth.
Nevertheless, I stumbled onto Grover Norquist's profile as one of the directors. As the cable news media continues to elevate him as some kind of serious man of seriousness, it's striking to review some of the awful things he's said over the years.
Some examples, beginning with a bit of flagrant sexism:
On August 17, 2011, Norquist commented on the “Super Congress”—a joint Congressional committee tasked with reducing U.S. debt—in the New York Times, saying, “The Republicans are serious budget reformers; the lady from Washington [Democrat Senator Patty Murray] doesn’t do budgets.”
And some racism...
In 2008, Norquist described then-Senator Barack Obama as “John Kerry with a tan.”
And more sexism...
In 2003, Norquist was quoted in the Denver Post as saying, "Bipartisanship is another name for date rape."
Date rape generally involves a man raping a woman he knows. So the sexism here is the implication that date rape is the fault of both people involved -- in the metaphor "both parties" cooperating to do the awful thing. In other words, the woman -- the victim -- shares the blame somehow. Definitely not the sort of character who should be allowed anywhere near gun laws.
So I wonder how many times Norquist will appear on MSNBC and CNN between now and Election Day 2012 as a serious analyst: a shill for the gun lobby and a far-right overlord who has no issues with sexism and racism.
(This post is written as part of the Media Matters Gun Facts fellowship. The purpose of the fellowship is to further Media Matters' mission to comprehensively monitor, analyze, and correct conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. Some of the worst misinformation occurs around the issue of guns, gun violence, and extremism, the fellowship program is designed to fight this misinformation with facts.)